Ah, so you' ve come to find out about the wee ones, have ya? Well, as I've said, what you will read in these pages are classifications of fairies that have come down through the ages. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines fairy (also spelled faerie or faery) as a mythical being of folklore and romance usually having magic powers and dwelling on earth in close relationship with humans.


Different people in different countries have their own names and beliefs about them. Some believe fairies are fallen angels, too bad for heaven and too good for hell. Wherever these fallen angels landed was the type of fairy they would become (ie: if they fell into water, they became water fairies, if into the woods, a wood nymph, etc.). Some people believed them to be the spirits of unbaptized children, and so having no souls, simply perished at death. They can be more than mortal size or only a few inches high and can assume any appearance they like, particularly that of a deer or falcon or flower. There are tales of them kidnapping babies and leaving 'changelings' in their place, or carrying off adults into Faeryland. If these adults ate or drank there, they could never more return.


It is believed that the race of Faerie could roughly be divided into two groups; the peasantry and the aristocracy.


The peasantry are the solitary fairies, descendants of spirits who at the beginning of time ensouled all of nature.They are the guardians of the tree and field; the mountain stream and forest pool.


The aristocracy are known as the trooping faeries and are believed to be descended from ancient, vanquished gods. They are thought to dwell in kingdoms underground or in the deepest seas.


The name fairy, {perhaps derived from the Fates[the three spirits (Clotho, Lachsis, and Atrpos) which preside over the destiny of every individual], or a combination of Gaelic words 'fae' or 'friend' and 'eire' or 'green', hence- 'green friend'} first appears around the Middle Ages, but these beings in various forms appear from the Jinni of Arabic Mythology to the Nymphs of the Greeks, and in many indigenous cultures. The following are some of the many different kinds of faeries that generations of oral and written traditions have passed down through the ages:


Asrais - These are small, delicate, female fairies. If they are exposed to sunlight or captured they will melt away into a pool of water.


Banshee -('Bean Sidhe' in Irish folklore, 'Bean Nighe' to the Scottish) This is a female spirit fairy attached to certain families. It is said, that when a member's death approaches, the family will hear the banshee crying.


Bogles - These are generally evil-natured Goblins although they are more disposed to do harm to liars and murderers.


Brownies - In English and Scottish folklore, a small, industrious faerie who inhabits houses and barns. Rarely seen, he would be heard at night cleaning and doing housework. Cream or bread and milk were often left as gifts for him.


Daoine Mait - "the good people". They are the fairies of contemporary Irish folklore


Dwarfs - These are stocky, short and powerful creatures. They mature at three years old and are grey and bearded by the age of seven. It is said they cannot appear in the light of day or they will turn to stone. However, there are potions and spells that empower them to endure sunlight.


Dryads - These are the happy, playful wood nymphs that dwell in the trees. Some say their favorites are willow trees, others say they prefer oaks.The Druids are believed to have turned to them for inspiration.


Elves - Another name by which trooping fairies in are known. They can be divided into the Scottish Seelie and Unseelie Courts. They were believed by some to cause disease in cattle and humans and to sit upon the chest of a sleeper giving them bad dreams(the German word for nightmare is 'alpdrucken' or 'elf-pressure')


Feeorin - A type of diminutive fairy in the folklore of England. It is also the collective word for fairies who are usually friendly towards mankind, or at least neutral. They are depicted as small creatures with a green skin and wearing red hats. They enjoy singing and dancing.


Fir Darrig - ( pronounced 'Fear deang') These fairies delight in rather gruesome forms of pranks, so it might be best to leave them alone. They can assume any visage they wish.


Fire Fairies - There are two types of fire fairies: Flame Spirits and Elementals. They have the ability to create and destroy.


Garden Fairies - You will find these fairies among the flowers dancing and playing wearing flowing gowns with transparent wings. At dawn they pour out blessings upon the world.


Gnomes -These are earth elementals; an elderly people who live to be about 1000 years old and believed to be the healers of the fairy world. They live underground and guard the treasures of the earth. Gnomes are wonderful metal workers and have a weakness for gem stones and things that glitter.


Goblins - This is the name used for an uglier species of fairy. They are small and malicious, and usually band together as they have lost their abilities to operate independently. They can appear as animals and are usually controlled by a Mage for evil doings.


Gwragedd Annwn - ( p. 'Gwageth anoon') These are Welsh water fairies,  who occasionally take human men for husbands.


Gwyllion -These are Scottish fairies. They are mostly seen as a hairy men or hideous female spirits who waylay and mislead travelers by night on the mountain roads. Mountain fairies like to sit on rocks on either side of a mountain path and silently watch passerby's.


Hamadryad - These are wood-nymphs. Each tree has its own wood-nymph, who dies when the tree dies.


Hobgoblins - Originally a general name for small, grotesque but friendly brownie-type creatures.


Jinnee (s) or Jinn (p) - These are fairies in Arabian mythology, the offspring of fire. They reproduce like human beings, and are lead by a race of kings named Suleyman, one of whom, they say, built the pyramids. Their chief abode is the mountain Kâf, and they appear to men under the forms of serpents, dogs, cats, monsters, or even human beings, and become invisible at will. The evil jinn are hideously ugly, but the good are exquisitely beautiful. According to legend, they were created from fire two thousand years before Adam was made of earth.


Kelpie - In Scotland, an imaginary spirit of the waters in the form of a horse.


Kobold - According to German folklore, kobolds are spirits who dwell in mines and who like to torment humans. They are tricksters but not inherently evil (though some believe them to be the most dangerous and most ugly of all the fairy-like beings). Some sources suggest that kobolds are related to the Brownies.


Knockers (Buccas) - These are mine spirits who are friendly to miners. They knock where rich ore can be found.


Laminak - Basque fairies, related to the Celtic little people. The Laminak live underground in beautiful castles.


Lauma - Originally, a beautiful, long-haired female fairy from Lithuania, dwelling in the forests near water or stones. By the 18th century the name came to denote a witch or hag capable of changing into a frog or toad. In modern Latvinian, lauma is 'a hag' and lauminette means 'to practice witchcraft'.


Leprechauns - In Irish folklore, they appear as tiny old men, solitary in nature, wearing a cocked hat and leather apron. They are said to posses a hidden pot of gold and if captured may reveal it's hiding place, but they are sly and tricky and, if you glance away, they can disappear in the blink of an eye. The name seems to be derived from the old Irish 'luchorpan' or 'little body'.


Lorelei - In German legend a fairy similar to the Greek Sirens who lived on the rock high on the bank of the Rhine River and by her singing lured the sailors to their death.


Los Aluxes - ( p. 'Los Ah Loo Shus') These faeries live in the temples of the ancient peoples in Mexico. They resemble gnomes. 'Aluxes' means 'little people'.


The Lunantishee, or Lunantishess - These are a tribe of fairies who guard blackthorn bushes (one of the Fairy Trees). They will not allow that a blackthorn stick is cut on May 11th (originally May Day) or November 11 (originally All Hallows Eve). Should anyone manage to cut a stick, some misfortune will surely befall him or her.


Mer-People (Mermaids) - They dwell in the water, but they are human from the waist up and have a tail of a fish. They are irresistible singers who sometimes lure fishermen to their deaths. Also called the Murdhuacha (muroo-cha) or Merrows.


Naiad - water-nymphs.


Nis or Nisse - a Kobold or Brownie. A Scandinavian fairy friendly to farmhouses.


Ogre - an inhabitant of fairyland said to feed on infant children.


Orends - mountain nymphs.


Pixies - These faeries often take the form of hedgehogs. They are mischievous creatures who enjoy playing practical jokes on humans and other fay folk. They adore music and dancing, and also love to steal horses to ride.


Peri - a Persian fairy. Evil peris are called “Deevs”


Perit - In Albanian folklore, they are female mountain deities of great beauty. They are dressed entirely in white and are regarded as good fairies though they can become very angry towards those who spill bread, and will give those who do a hump.


Phooka - These are Irish goblins. They are usually friendly but are known to play pranks.


Portunes - These are tiny medieval fairies, described by Gervase of Tilbury as being the size of a finger. They are very old men with wrinkled faces who work on human farms. Though generally friendly and helpful, at night they cannot resist grabbing the bridle of a horse and leading the horse and its rider into ponds.


Puck, or Robin Goodfellow - is a character from Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream". With his flute, made from a willow twig, he accompanies fairies on their moonlight dances. He is closely related to the Irish Phooka.


Redcap - These are believed to be the most evil of the old Border Goblins, living in old ruined towers and castles, particularly those with a history of wickedness. They say he re-dyes his cap in human blood.


Rod - In Slavic mythology, the Rod are the spirits of deceased female ancestors and are considered to be goddesses of fate and fairies. As three women they appear at the cradle of a newborn child and decide the child's fate.


Seelie Court - The Court of the kind and benign fairy host, usually seen around twilight in long solemn processions. These fairies help the poor with gifts of corn and bread. The opposite of the Seelie Court ('Blessed Court') is the evil Unseelie Court.


Selkies - These water faeries are usually found in seas and oceans. They first appear as seals but become beautiful women when they shed their skin.


Shefro - Male fairies who wear green coats and red caps.


Sídhee - (p. 'shee') Meaning 'people of the fairy hills', it is the Gaelic name for fairies in both Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. These faeries are described as being aristocrats, beautiful, of great size, great age, and great power. Usually these fairies are attracted to those who are beautiful as well as wealthy.


The Slaugh - This is the name of the Unseelie Court or the evil fairies in the folklore of Scotland. The name means the Host,(a euphemism used to avoid invoking them by name and hopefully preventing them from inflicting harm). They are believed to be the Fallen Angels that roam the midnight skies of the earth searching for lost souls.


Spriggans - These are fabled to be ugly, grotesque and small in their natural state, but can inflate themselves to gigantic proportions. Spriggans are an infamous band of villains, skilled thieves, thoroughly destructive and often dangerous. They are capable of robbing human houses, kidnapping children and leaving a repulsive baby Spriggan in exhange.


Sprites - These are spirit fairies, their name coming from the Latin word 'spiritus'. They are creatures of the element of water and are found only in places that are serene and cool. Their job is to change the color of the leaves in autumn. They are the muses, artists and poets of the fairyworld.


Sylphs - These are spirit fairies of the air (the name comes from the Greek 'silphe' meaning 'butterfly' or 'moth'). They are transparent and elusive and always seem to be surrounded by a glow. They defend high mountain peaks where they dwell.


Trolls - These creatures have an aversion to daylight. They are frequently observed performing a curious lop-sided dance called 'Henking'.


Trows - Similiar to the Trolls and like them, have an aversion to daylight.


Tuatha Dé Danaan - (Tribe of Dana) They are the pre-Christian gods of Ireland, sometimes represented as heroes or fairies.


The Tylwyth Teg ("the fair people") - These are Welsh fairies who live in lakes or streams or in hollows of the hills. The females are called y mamau (the mothers), a title which links them to the pagan Celtic deities, the Matres. Associated with them are the usual traditions of moonlight dance, the supernatural passage of time, the stealing of children, and the substitution of changelings. They are especially interested in children with golden hair. Their favorites they enrich with precious gifts, which disappear when these gifts are spoken of.


Undines - These are water fairies, usually found in forest pools and waterfalls. They have beautiful voices and can sometimes be heard singing over the sound of the water.


Unseelie Court - The evil counterpart of the Seelie Court . Those that fly through the sky at night are called the 'Horde'. Mortals unfortunate enough to cross the Horde's path are taken,beaten, pinched and forced to participate in their bizarre nocturnal activities. The Unseelie Court ("Unholy Court") solely consists of those fairy-like beings which are the most ugly and evil.


Urisk - Is a solitary fairy who haunts lonely pools. He will often seek out human company but his peculiar appearance terrifies those he approaches.


Will-O'-The-Wisp - A spirit of the bogs, whose delight is to mislead belated travellers.


Yosei - Japanese fairies. They are most often seen as birds, cranes or swans.


Yumboes -These are fairies of African mythology. They stand about two feet high and are white in color. Their favorite haunt is the range of hills called The Paps.


Xanas - The nymphs or faeries of Asturias, derived from Celtic mythology. They live near streams, and spend their day singing beautiful tunes and combing their wonderful hair.







"Sands of Time" courtesy of Don Gilman




The small flying fae were found on the web at what I believe
are free graphic sites. If there is someone who deserves
credit for them, please let me know


The other graphics are my own.



sources: Encyclopedia Mythica, The Quest for Immortality, wcsu.edu, Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legends, Internet - Sacred Texts, Mythology and Folklore, Green Man by alan Hefner, An Encyclopedia of Fairies" by Katharine Briggs, the Encyclopedia Britannica